I am very late on this post, but I did in fact complete my 24 Day Fitness Challenge! For my final 3 days of the challenge, I nixed the “fitness is free” ideology (for that short time period), and I went skiing!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the health benefits of skiing, I’m going to share all of them with you as well as my own personal experience.
Health Benefits of Skiing
Skiing is a total body workout!
It strengthens hips, knees & ankles through weight bearing as you’re trying to keep yourself upright while gliding down a mountain. It also strengthens your inner and outer thigh muscles, your hamstrings and your gluteals because you are transferring all your weight from leg to leg while zig zagging (especially if you’re a beginner/intermediate like me & you spend most of your time in the wedge position). There’s also the aspect of balance, and for that you’re working your core muscles. And finally, last but not least, you are also getting an arm workout by gripping your ski poles to steer yourself around and whatnot. Not to mention, all that ski equipment is heavy! Even when you’re not physically skiing, its a workout just carrying all that stuff around!!
Its a cardiovascular workout.
Skiing is moderately aerobic, so although you won’t feel winded or out of breath after a session of skiing, you are still working aerobically, which gets your heart pumping. This improves your cardiovascular health and ability.
It improves your mood!
Skiing releases endorphins & adrenaline because: A. You’re exercising, B. You’re going pretty fast on those skis, & C. You’re on a really high mountain. I mean, even the journey on the ski lift gets my nerves going. For those of you who don’t know, when you’re body releases endorphins (a chemical from the brain known as a neurotransmitter), it basically makes you feel good. Adrenaline is a hormone released by your adrenal glands when you’re body is under some sort of stress. Therefore, when you’re skiing (or even nervous about the height of the ski lift), your body releases adrenaline, which basically gives you more energy to keep going, and it also releases endorphins making you happier!
It improves your balance & body awareness.
Proprioception is the ability to sense where all the parts of your body are in relation to each other while moving. When you’re skiing, you need to be able to keep track of all your limbs and where they are because if your arm is in the wrong place or you’re leaning the wrong way, then you could fall and injure yourself. Therefore, skiing helps you to improve your proprioception, which decreases with age (dancing also helps with this as well).
For obvious reasons (you’re basically sliding down a mountain on two thin blades), you need to keep your balance while skiing as well. As I said earlier, your core muscles help you to keep balanced but it also has to do with signals from the cerebellum (a part of your brain), which coordinates your movement and automatically adjusts your body to keep you upright. This means that skiing not only gives you a physical workout, but a mental one as well, which is equally important (especially as we age).
And finally, It burns calories.
You can burn about 3000 calories (more or less) during a day of skiing, which is more than a typical gym session. Its also way more exciting than going to the gym. I know if I were given a choice of a picturesque snowy mountain landscape or a sea of treadmills and sweaty gym-goers, I’d pick the mountains.
*As for my Fitness Challenge…
Days 22 to 24: Three full days of skiing giving me a full body workout & very sore muscles afterwards.
Results From My 24 Day Fitness Challenge
1. I feel stronger.
2. My flexibility has moderately improved, but not as much as I would have hoped (this may have to do with my age; I’m only 25, but flexibility does decrease with age and gets more difficult to get back once you’ve lost it).
3. My stamina has definitely improved.
4. I feel much better about myself.
Final Thoughts: I hope you enjoyed my 24 Day Fitness Challenge! I’m very glad that I did it, and I’m definitely going to continue in keeping a regular fitness schedule. If you have been following along with my progress, tell me what you think about the overall challenge on my Fitness Challenge page in the comment section or in the comment section here! Also, please like me on Facebook, add me on Google+, and follow me on Twitter, Pinterest & Bloglovin!
Thanks so much for visiting! Hope to hear from you!!